Friday, March 13, 2009

We’re not saying lying is good. But every now and then, when the food pushers are in full force, a little fib can be just the ticket to help you stick to your planned good intentions. Come on, ‘fess up. Have you ever told a waiter you were allergic to gluten when he approached your table with warm, fragrant biscuits? Or informed the flight attendant that you're a vegetarian just so you could get the light veggie meal instead of the heavy beef burrito? For many adults trying to slim down, the road traveled includes numerous challenges — including food pushers and saboteurs. Leanne Fly, a nutritional consultant from Charlotte, NC, has told a variety of harmless, yet self-preserving fibs to ward off food pushers. “I’ve said I have an allergy, or I’ve just eaten… and sometimes that I’m just not feeling well…[It] works like a charm.” Not that she’s a champion fibber in the rest of her life, but Leanne has sometimes had to resort to whoppers. She’s been known to say that she’s recovering from food poisoning, since people typically don’t dream of pushing fatty foods on a recovering system, and it puts everyone at ease. “It makes it a case-closed type of situation rather than having to argue about what goes in your mouth,” she says. “By using a little white lie, you don't have to have a big discussion.” Another strategy to put food pushers off their stride will be familiar to any Star Wars fans who recall the Jedi mind trick: say you already ate something even though you didn’t. Rory Cohen, a self-help author from Wyncote, PA, admits, “I just used it yesterday. My mom offered me a bite of her warm, fudgy brownie with whipped cream and I said, ‘No thanks, Mom, you already gave me a piece.’” Even though, of course, she hadn’t. She adds, “Just thinking I’d already eaten the treat made the craving go away.” Not everyone will be fooled, but perhaps just confused enough that you can change the subject quickly and leave the problem behind. Point the finger at your physician Another way to dodge offers of unwanted, high-calorie and high-fat foods, says Corey Beasley, a fitness coach from greater Los Angeles, is to suggest that you’re under doctor’s orders. He explains, “Say you have an upcoming blood test or other test. Say you're gluten intolerant, hypoglycemic, whatever.” Those people who are nervous that saying such things will tempt fate can be more vague; the suggestion even of a doctor’s appointment will be enough to cause most people to leave the subject alone. Sometimes these fibs are rooted in fact. Elizabeth Ball, a Weight Watchers member in Sydney, Australia had three acute cases of conjunctivitis and saw a homeopath to cure her ailment. “At the time, I was working in the heavy drinking environment of an ad agency. [My doctor] diagnosed my liver as being weak from too much alcohol, which led to the conjunctivitis, so I had to stop drinking while I took the drops for about two weeks.” Long after her eyes cleared up, Elizabeth pretended she was still on medication and continued to steer clear of wine and spirits for another two weeks. “I welcomed the little white lie to help me shed some pounds and save some money in the process!” Jamie Pope, RD, LDN, and instructor of nutrition in the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing mentions some fibs such as medication may be harmless but buyer beware: faux truths like diabetes or severe allergies may come up again and the fibber will be exposed. The key is simply staying safe with something like, “That looks great but no thank you,” she says. “The whole idea is not to set up a conversation where the host or person offering the food doesn't feel compelled to convince or debate with you.” Channel a higher calling Cultural beliefs may be used as another fib – vegetarianism, veganism, and even religious beliefs that have culinary restrictions. Kalvin Chinyere, an MD from Atlanta, GA, lost a lot of weight through healthy eating and exercise and also keeps it vague when referring to worship. “I often told people that I could not drink alcohol for religious reasons. No one ever asked what religion I was. That helped me avoid drinking calorie-filled alcoholic beverages and beers.” Instead, he drank Diet Coke on the rocks. Laugh it off Above all, it’s important to maintain a sense of humor when concocting these self-preserving falsehoods. Kimberly Llewellyn, a sometimes-member of Weight Watchers from Tampa, FL, tells people she has a condition called fatomah-thy and can’t eat certain things. “It’s pronounced Fat-TOE-mah-THI. Really, it’s just a different pronunciation of saying ‘fat on my thigh!’ I’ve tried it and it works.” Article courtesy of Weight Watchers Linda Ott, ND, CNHP, Berkey, OH, simply tells people she has developed a unique case of allergies. She explains, “If comments are made about what allergies, just giggle and say, ‘Allergic to tight clothes!’”

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